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Wednesday, 28 October 2020 18:15

Indonesian chaplaincy about 'finding God's love in His people'


Fr Trinold Asa with Indonesian Catholic Community 500Fr Trinold Asa SVD took up Indonesian Community Chaplaincy duties in Melbourne in June last year, but after only several months in the job, found he was having to find new ways of ministering to the people thanks to the city’s tough COVID lockdown.

He took over the chaplaincy role from Fr Boni Buahendri SVD and was enjoying getting out and meeting the people who make up Melbourne’s Indonesian Catholic Family (ICF).

“There are eight groups and eight categories in ICF-Melbourne,” Fr Trinold says. “These groups and categories are in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

“Apart from celebrating the sacraments, my chaplaincy is involved also in pastoral care, the Bible apostolate, Children’s Ministry, youth ministry, charismatic groups ministry etc.”

However, when the COVID-19 lockdown hit Melbourne earlier this year, Fr Trinold and the ICF community had to change their way of gathering together.

“I could not travel to different churches for Sunday Mass and the sacraments,” he says. “Also, I could not visit those who are sick because of the restrictions.”

Fr Trinold Zoom ministry with Indon community during Covid 550Like many others in the Church and wider community the ICF began moving their gatherings online.

“Even though we could not gather together physically, we still have the chance to meet each other virtually,” Fr Trinold says.

Mass was celebrated via Zoom both on weekdays and Sundays.

“We could also do Bible sharing, pray the Rosary, praise and worship and pastoral visits online, as well as many other activities,” he says.

“It was hard doing online activities because of poor connections and tools for live streaming, but it is now improving to have a better service.

“Of course you could not completely satisfy people’s needs, but at least you try your best in serving them, especially in this pandemic.”

Fr Trinold says that providing chaplaincy for different cultural groups is an important work of the SVD AUS province.

“Firstly, by doing chaplaincy, somehow we are assisting the local church in making parishes alive again. In the ICF, we encourage the people to be active, not only in our own community, but more importantly, to be ready to be involved in the local parishes where they live,” he says.

Fr Trinold with Fr Bill Burt zoom mass during covid 550“Secondly, chaplaincy could enrich the SVD province. By providing chaplaincy for different cultural groups, the SVD may show its multicultural dimension of mission.”

Fr Trinold says he is very much enjoying his chaplaincy ministry.

“For me personally, doing Indonesian chaplaincy ministry is about how to find God’s love in His people,” he says.

“ICF is a vibrant community where the people can find a ‘second home’ to grow together in faith, so being part of this community can be seen as a journey to be enriched spiritually.”

Fr Trinold says the community also features great teamwork and leadership among the people, helping everyone to work together happily.


TOP RIGHT: Fr Trinold Asa SVD with members of Melbourne's Indonesian Catholic Family before the COVID lockdown.

MIDDLE LEFT: The community continued to pray devotions together via Zoom during the lockdown.

BOTTOM RIGHT: Fr Trinold is pictured celebrating Mass with Fr Bill Burt SVD which was streamed live to the Indonesian Catholic Family members throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria.